Missing swimmer baffles Whitman community

Jeffrey Gustaveson, Humor editor

Whitman College authorities have opened up a Missing Persons Investigation in the case of first-year John Johnson, who was last seen on Aug. 28 as he moved into his first-year residence hall.

The College is requesting that anyone with information about Johnson’s whereabouts come forward immediately.

Walla Walla Police detective Lynn Lynch was assigned to investigate the case and said that she has been working through a number of possible scenarios.

“One explanation that I’ve been looking into is the fact that Johnson lives in North Hall. It’s quite possible that given how far off campus and isolated North is, he’s totally fine, and just hasn’t interacted with anyone else in weeks.”

Many students interviewed by The Pioneer had a hard time locating North Hall.  One Jewett resident asked us, “Where’d you say he lived again? North Hall? I always just assumed that place was a myth. I don’t even know what direction it would be in!”

In an effort to shed some light on the mysterious absence, The Pioneer reached out to Joe Josephs, Johnson’s roommate. After hacking our way through the thick backcountry terrain that covers the strenuous three blocks to North, our grueling journey ended at Room 13, the last place Johnson was seen.

A bewildered Josephs answered the door. “I think I remember seeing John at least once during move-in day, but beyond that, I can’t say for certain that he’s been in our room again.” Added Josephs, “I don’t go out much, so suffice it to say that if he’s been back to our room at some point, he’s been very stealthy about it.”

Stealth, though, appears an unlikely reason for Johnson’s disappearance: He stands six feet, seven inches, and weighs 210 pounds.

However baffling, Detective Lynch remained undeterred. “I was walking past the gym the other day when I found a notice taped to the door. It seemed to be about some kind of secret society, which I think is at the heart of this whole case,” said Lynch.

The Pioneer has obtained the full text of the notice. It reads:

“SWIM TEAM begins this week. Please report to BFFC at 8 am each morning for practice.”

The same notice was found on the floor of Johnson’s dorm room around the time of his disappearance.  “I’m convinced that this ‘SWIM TEAM’ organization has something to do with Johnson never having been sighted on campus,” said Lynch.

However, this cryptic new message leaves many questions unanswered. What is this “SWIM TEAM” up to? Why have they chosen Johnson? What are they “practicing”? Will Johnson ever be heard from again?

The Pioneer will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they come to us.